The target: a group of innocent girls in a schoolhouse amongst people that don’t believe in using modern devices in accordance to their religion.
The attacker: a man who was disturbed because he molested some family members a while back and wanted to do it again.
What started out as a normal day at this schoolhouse turned out to be anything but that. As time progresses from what happened last week, we hear more and more about what happened then, and in the days before.
He was a disturbed man— married with three children, he felt tortured by memories that he had molested family members twenty years ago with a desire to carry out those dreams again. If true, he decided that, rather than face those feeling and beat them back, he would live them out.
His intent when he burst into Georgetown Amish School in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, armed to the teeth and equipped for a lengthy siege, was to act out those fantasies on the young classmates.
Instead, panicked by the arrival of police, he began executing them before turning the gun on himself.
However, the story doesn’t seem to ring true– at least the part about the molestation in his past. As it turns out, the two people that he named claim that no such thing happened. In fact, they claim that they had no contact with the man.
In either case, the story of what went on in that schoolhouse is chilling. This man was the regular milk truck driver, and the kids would have known him. We know now that he was planning this for some time and had things prepared for a lengthy stay where he would have taken advantage of these girls.
We know that the morning of the attack, they hung a sign in the room saying “Visitors Brighten People’s Day.” He entered the room, displaying his weapon, and sent the boys and adults out of the room. After that, as the attack unfolded, an Amish girl named Marian Fisher displayed great courage for her age, asking that she be killed first to give the younger ones more time.
When the deputy coroner reached the Amish schoolhouse, she found blood on every desk, every window broken and the body of a young girl slumped beneath the chalkboard. Ten children had been shot, five fatally, and the gunman was dead.
“It was horrible. I don’t know how else to explain it,” Amanda Shelley, deputy Lancaster County coroner, said Wednesday. “I hope to never see anything like that again in my life.”
The Amish are taking it well. They praise the girl’s courage. They seek to help the family, and let God be judge. Then there are those that want to give Baptists bad names.
She tries to say that what she’s doing is merciful, since you can only minister to people who are alive and telling them that they are wrong is the only way they can get right.
Now, I don’t know a lot about the Amish beyond that I know that they do not believe in the One True God like I do. However, this is a sensitive time and I’m not going to be boycotting anyone’s funeral. This woman gives Baptists a bad name, however, boycotting funerals of service men, the Amish, and preaching that only those that go to her church glorify God.
It’s the last thing we learned from this event– yes this is an opportunity to reach out and provide comfort– even to spread the Gospel. It’s not a time to seek self-aggrandizement through television and radio in the name of the Gospel of truth.